AHAHAHAA! You know, you don’t say noddy words, but when you saw that my blog post had a warning on it, you still clicked over here. And probably a lot quicker than if it said, “I’m so awesome” or something. You CHOSE to read this. Now you’re accountable.
I think a lot about words. I always have. I like words. Some swears even. I’ve been thinking about what some choose to believe as offensive or hurtful. I’ve been on both sides of that. You know how much I hate the “r” word, but at the same time, I use words that people find offensive a lot. Nothing too serious, like the F-bomb (have you seen my husband? He looks like an F-Dude, but that has a completely different meaning. I’ve got to get a picture of him on here. It’s so delightful it hurts), but I say things like “crap” and “fart” a lot. Other things I didn’t think were terrible until people brought them to my attention (but honestly, there’s no other word as fitting to describe Kanye West than as a D-bag) I think words only carry the weight we ascribe to them. Gestures, too. I would never in a million years say the “f” word to someone, but I’d flip them off. My friends and family, mostly. I don’t think it’s that terrible. With the some anonymous friends of ours, it’s kind of like the world, “aloha”- we use it for both “hello” and “goodbye”.
Anyone from the street would think that was terrible. It kind of is. But it’s all in context. The kids don’t see it (unless they go through our texts) and it’s kept only between the adults. I don’t see having my middle finger raised at someone who knows I raise it in love is such a big deal. Like I said, it goes back to the weight we (or “society”) gives.
I’m getting somewhere with this, I really am. Some words evolve. Much like the “r” word. Back in the day it was used as a way to describe someone of diminished mental capacity. But that word was hijacked and used as an insult, changing the weight it carried to some people. Myself included. For those who don’t have a child with special needs, that weight is different. Some are JUST LIKE the way I am with flipping off my friends. Does it mean that they are worse than I am? Nope. It just means that words have different meanings, and until someone tells them any different, they won’t know the weight that the word carries. It’s like when Carter’s cousin told him about swear words. He came upstairs and asked if “f…” was a bad word. My stomach hit my feet at the sound of my perfect little boy saying such a terrible word. But it wasn’t anything to him because it hadn’t been given meaning (he obviously had blocked out the traumatic McDonalds event of his youth, and I am grateful).
Wow. Way off track today. I’m trying to make a point. In the Down syndrome world, people have VERY strong views on how children with Down syndrome should be called. I get on these boards on Babycenter and one woman had written how she cried for HOURS because the doctor had called her baby a “downs baby”. Apparently they (we?) don’t like that. The rational behind it is that “we” (I guess) want our children to be treated like a child with Down syndrome rather than a child that is ONLY Down syndrome. Does that make any sense? It’s about treating the whole child and not the disability blah blah blah. I really don’t care if you say that Abby is a “downs” baby. Mostly because I know what you mean. I don’t think anyone who calls Abby as “downs” will treat her any worse than someone who uses the politically correct term as “a Down syndrome child”.
They’re trying this movement out in the autism world, too. They want everyone to say that the child “has autism” and not “is autistic” but it’s not really catching on. I think it’s because autism is like a monster you’re fighting with every single day. You’re not so worried about naming it, as you are just trying to keep it from clawing your eyes out. You worry about getting through the day, not what people refer to your child as.
Please don’t take this as me saying that Down syndrome kids are a walk in the park. I’m not sure how they are. Mine’s only five months old. I know that she’s a lot easier than Casey was at five months, but I know that the monsters are going to be quite different with her. We’re dealing with muscle tone and not screaming. Maybe it’s just because autism seems to be a much louder diagnoses than Down syndrome.
Maybe this is all crap and I have no idea what I’m talking about.